(WAR in EUROPE, 1941-45 – continued)
In the thirties, Roosevelt had been the happy warrior, frequently smiling, while Hitler rarely smiled in public or in private gatherings. Roosevelt was born into a family of wealth, believing in democracy and international comity, while Hitler had struggled for his place in society, disliked democracy and believed in national aggrandizement at the expense of others.
Roosevelt had never been in combat or the military. Hitler was a combat veteran who felt wronged by his country's failure to achieve victory in World War I, and he wanted to make amends for that failure.
Hitler wanted to impose his will on the Russians. Roosevelt looked forward to Russia liberalizing itself.
Hitler was for the grandeur of the state – the Fatherland. Roosevelt believed in politics for people.
Roosevelt believed in a nation of laws. Hitler believed that he was the law.
Hitler had been more of a mystic than Roosevelt and believed in the power of will – despite circumstances. He blamed defeat not on his mistakes but a lack of will by the Germans and spoke of their not deserving his leadership. At his end he ordered a grand destruction of vital structures – orders not carried out.
When Roosevelt died the world mourned. Hitler killed himself and had his body destroyed to save himself from hostile mobs.
Hitler had wanted to be highly regarded by history – as many did his hero Frederick the Great. Instead he would be admired by only a few who have not understood what a fool he was – except that he had more sense than Roosevelt regarding cigarettes.
The War, (U.S. citizens at war), by Ken Burns.
The Second World War, by Martin Gilbert, 1989. (A good book for understanding the nature of people.)
900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad, by Harrison E. Salisbury
Summits, Chapter 3, "Yalta 1945," by David Reynolds, 2007.
The Fall of Berlin, 1945, by Antony Beevor, Viking Press, 2002
A World of Arms: a global history of World War II,by Gerhard L. Weinberg, Cambridge University Press, 1994
Hitler, by Joachim C. Fest, 1992
Stalin, by Edvard Radzinsky, Doubleday, 1996
Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938 – 1945, by Evan Burr Bukey, 2000
Among the Dead Cities, by A.C. Grayling, 2006
Bombs, Cities and Civilians, by Conrad C. Crane, University Press of Kansas, 1993
The Last 100 Days, by John Toland, Randon House, 1966.
Conversations with Stalin, by Milovan Djilas, 1962
Civil Life in Wartime Germany,by Max Seydewitz, Viking Press, New York, 1945
Russia's War: Blood upon the Snow, by Richard Overy and Peter B. Kaufman, 1997. (A book about the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1945, mostly about the Soviet Union during World War II.)
The Bitter Years: The Invasion and Occupation of Denmark and Norway, April 1940-1945, by Richard Petrow, 1974
Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich, by Alison Owings, 1993
Caught between Roosevelt and Stalin: America's Ambassardors to Moscow, by Dennis J. Dunn, 1998
The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1950
Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, by Gretchen Rubin, 2003
The Nation Killers: the Soviet deportation of nationalities, by Robert Conquest, 1970
Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, by Nicholson Baker, 2008. A superb overview from the beginning of the 20th century to World War II, built on snippets of attitude.
The Young Lions, a novel by Irwin Shaw, 1949
Das Boot (The Boat)
Aimée & Jaguar (Golden Globe Nominee)
The Secret of Santa Vittoria, a Stanley Kramer movie starring Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani, from a novel by Robert Crichton. "What kind of people are you," asks the German captain?
Copyright © 2000-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.